Chinese celebrities will share legal responsibility for advertising food products that are found to be unsafe, according to the latest draft law.
The draft food safety law stipulates all social organizations and individuals who recommend unsafe food products in ads shoulder "joint liability" with food producers if the products harm consumers' rights and interests.
It was submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for review on Wednesday, the China Daily reported.
Renmin University of China law professor Yang Lixin explained joint liability means that consumers can demand compensation from both the unsafe food's producers and the stars in the ads.
Deputy director of the NPC Law Committee Liu Xirong said the change was in response to legislators' complaints that false or exaggerated food ads - many featuring celebrities - have been cheating and misleading consumers.
"So, we consider it necessary to impose stricter controls over food ads," he said.
The latest draft also bans food supervision authorities, and industry and consumer associations, from recommending food products to consumers in ads or any other form.
Unsafe food product ads became a major issue after the melamine scandal started in China last September.
Many people questioned whether celebrities who had promoted the tainted products, especially for the Sanlu Group, should share responsibility for the six babies who died and 30,000 who were sickened.